By MEL RHODES
To understand a place and its people, one must understand the history behind them both. History is how we got to where we are, a back drop against which today must be viewed, the root that makes tomorrow possible.
Suffice it to say, history is important, and not a dead thing, but living through the efforts of groups like the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission.
Whether you're a history buff or just curious, the Commission's Palo Pinto County Historic & Wildflower Tour set for Saturday is for you. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about this county's singular past.
Eight historic places around the county will be highlighted on the tour. And there will be no stuffy, museum-like atmosphere; it's a driving tour, and you may start and finish where you like.
Sites include the Old Jail Museum in Palo Pinto, Lover’s Retreat, Johnson League, the Opal Guest Chapel (Strawn Presbyterian Church), the Stuart Estate, Strawn Museum, Palo Pinto Mountain State Park and the Belding Ranch. The brilliant thing is that some of these sites are not open to the public except during these tours.
As you can see, there's lots to see and experience on this annual tour, chances to step back in time and contemplate the connection we all have with yesterday.
Tour hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and everyone is invited.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $2 for children, ages 6-15. Tickets will be available at any of the eight locations. But your best bet might be to start at the Old Jail Museum in Palo Pinto where maps should be available. Call it a good starting point and just a suggestion.
Advance tickets are available at the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce, or at the Old Jail Museum.
That's the spiel, the "whole enchilada." Here's your chance to learn more about your home county, native or adopted.
Check out the Palo Pinto County Historic Commission’s Facebook page or website at www.palopintohistory.com.
And above all, should you avail yourself of this opportunity, enjoy!